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Old 09-23-2018, 02:10 AM   #21
Girl from Europe
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Default Re: Grooming process and "pink" flags

I would also like to add (sorry in a separate message, but my previous one is waiting to be accepted by the moderator) that my husband doesn't want to go with me on a therapy, we were fighting about it a lot. He says he's ok and it is me that has a problem, because I am "crazy" and not well with my head. Right now I feel I really need an individual therapy to know how to go on with my life...
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:37 AM   #22
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He started to disclose a lot about himself, telling me for example that "he feels there is something in his character that could made him cheat on his wife", that he feels frustrated as a therapist, telling me he is going to visit my home town and asking where to go to eat pizza and then we were texting about how he liked it, what placed he was visiting, and stuff like this. He didn't stop to tell some flirtatious comments, like on the last session he concentrated at the end of the session on the "elements": he was talking about element of earth and told me do I feel earth under my feet, than do I feel water - saliva in my mouth, and then he said smiling at me in a suggestive way "And as for the fire... let's better leave the fire's topic alone...".

This is the part that really jumps out to me as a red flag, especially his comment that he feels like he could cheat. And the fire thing. And the way he said what he did about the perfume--had he just said, "What's that perfume you're wearing?" that might not have been a big deal, but the way he went on about it, and how he said it brightened his office seems really off to me. I know the attention can feel really good, particularly because you're having issues in your marriage. But I'd try looking for a different T.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:06 PM   #23
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Default Re: Grooming process and "pink" flags

Thank You once again for Your response. I've bene thinking about it and maybe all of the things I've written seem so exagerated, because I putted all of the "strange" situations together - but we have plenty of "normal" sessions also, and I really still think that he is a good specialist who happened to help me a still is helping me a lot... You have to understand that I am not able to quit now, because I need therapy and I need his support exactly in the same way as You needed it during Your therapies. And I really trust that he is trying to help me. I now things he is saying or doing sometimes aren't politically correct, but I get where does it come from, because we really like each other and get each other a lot - it's not because I have maritial problems that I think so, it really is like that. And even if I met him in some other place, not as a therapist and a patient, I believe it would be like that. But we are in a therapy so I have to live with it and try not to focus on a tensione between us, but on a help he is offering me, mostly how to be myself at my home and in my marriage that is really difficult - not because of him, because it is like that from The beginning....
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:35 AM   #24
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Hi, thank You for Your response.

Can I ask what type of therapy are You familiare with? I think he's exagerating, but maybe he's approuch is more open because it isn't psychoanalitic or psychodynamic school?...
What you've described your therapist doing has nothing to do with any type of therapy. There is no approach that prescribes or allows the behaviors that he has been exhibiting. The things he has said to you are inappropriate and unprofessional regardless of the approach he practices.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:16 AM   #25
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I've bene thinking about it and maybe all of the things I've written seem so exagerated, because I putted all of the "strange" situations together - but we have plenty of "normal" sessions also
This still doesn't change the fact that the things you describe him do are unprofessional and inappropriate.

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.. and I really still think that he is a good specialist who happened to help me a still is helping me a lot...
That is entirely your judgment. I am not saying he has not helped you or isn't helping you. I am just answering your question. You asked if his behavior shows some red flags, and I said that not only it does, but it is clearly prohibited by the ethical standards of the country I live in, in the US. I don't know what country you live in, but if your country of residence has different ethical standards that still doesn't change my opinion about your therapist's behavior. You are free not to accept my opinion and to have your own. But arguing about it doesn't make sense. When you ask people what you think, be prepared to hear things you may not like to hear.

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You have to understand that I am not able to quit now, because I need therapy and I need his support exactly in the same way as You needed it during Your therapies. And I really trust that he is trying to help me. I now things he is saying or doing sometimes aren't politically correct, but I get where does it come from, because we really like each other and get each other a lot - it's not because I have maritial problems that I think so, it really is like that. And even if I met him in some other place, not as a therapist and a patient, I believe it would be like that. But we are in a therapy so I have to live with it and try not to focus on a tensione between us, but on a help he is offering me, mostly how to be myself at my home and in my marriage that is really difficult - not because of him, because it is like that from The beginning....
You don't have to explain why you are unable to quit therapy (which I didn't suggest, btw. I suggested seeing a different therapist). I am not in a business of convincing people to make decisions they don't want to make. I can give my opinion when people ask for it (which you did) and the rest is none of my business. You asked people what they think of your therapist's behavior. You got the answers from them. What you do with this input is your choice.

Also, what your therapist does has nothing to do with "political correctness" but everything to do with ethics and professionalism.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: Grooming process and "pink" flags

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Thank You once again for Your response. I've bene thinking about it and maybe all of the things I've written seem so exagerated, because I putted all of the "strange" situations together - but we have plenty of "normal" sessions also, and I really still think that he is a good specialist who happened to help me a still is helping me a lot... You have to understand that I am not able to quit now, because I need therapy and I need his support exactly in the same way as You needed it during Your therapies. And I really trust that he is trying to help me. I now things he is saying or doing sometimes aren't politically correct, but I get where does it come from, because we really like each other and get each other a lot - it's not because I have maritial problems that I think so, it really is like that. And even if I met him in some other place, not as a therapist and a patient, I believe it would be like that. But we are in a therapy so I have to live with it and try not to focus on a tensione between us, but on a help he is offering me, mostly how to be myself at my home and in my marriage that is really difficult - not because of him, because it is like that from The beginning....
It's hard when you are having issues with your partner and your marriage. If your therapist is the only person you can talk to, I think it intensifies the relationship massively.

You know he's crossing boundaries, otherwise you wouldn't have asked here. I can understand that it might feel nice at the moment but the situation might cause problems further on down the line. What concerns me is that either he doesn't have a good understanding of what his role is in your life and what his job is (maintaining boundaries is a big part) or he is consciously being unethical and possibly even grooming you. A bit of flirting is ok but your situation seems to be developing into more than that. Not ending the session until you got up to go is a big red flag. What ever is happening, he's not being very honest about it.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:45 PM   #27
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Girl From Europe-
A mental health provider in my past complimented me and then began talking in sexual innuendos. I was hungry for the attention. He made me feel special- he made me last patient of the day so he could spend more time with me, he said.

We talked about a lot of things. He listened to me, sympathized and gained my trust. At the end of sessions he would initiate full-body hugs.

Eventually he asked me to relate any sexual fantasies I had of him... I trusted him, I thought this was part of therapy..I hadn’t been having fantasies of him but since that’s what he wanted, I made something up.

Our relationship progressed. He would call me some evenings just to chat. He spoke cryptically on the phone, ‘I’ve wanted to ask you...I think I know the answer, but...’ then he stopped talking. I asked him, what? I had no idea. Then, in session, he told me that intimacies with him would be part of therapy and help ‘get me out there’ in the dating world. I had seen him for a year or more by this time.

Gullible, naive, the relationship went where it ethically shouldn’t have. I felt happy, on top of the world. I even entertained the thought, ‘what if I had his child?’

Suddenly, intimacies stopped. When I asked, why? When? He said, he’d let me know if we’d ever be intimate again. I was confused. When I pressed him for detail, he said he had heart issues and we couldn’t be intimate anymore. He even showed me his bottle of Cardizem, a heart medication. I noticed on the bottle that he had prescribed it to himself. When he noticed me reading the bottle, he jerked it out of my hands.

I tried to tell him how much I cared and we didn’t need to be intimate for me to care. He went back to being a blank-slate therapist. I was heart broken.

‘Therapy’ became all about our ‘relatiobship’ ..or the lack of one..and Medicare paid for most of it, I paid cash for the balance. I *paid him* to exploit me.

He finally suggested we go on a walk. He didn’t want his receptionist to hear. (Our intimacies were secret. He said in some circles, intimacies with clients were ‘frowned upon.’) On our walk, he made it all my fault: ‘ You PROMISED me you could handle this! Why can’t you handle this?’ He said he had been intimate with me because he ‘felt sorry for me.’ He said, ‘see these street people? I had sex with you because I felt sorry for you like I feel sorry for street people.’

Later, I found out he had told his receptionist he was taking me ‘on the walk’ because I was ‘dangerous.’

I had trusted him. Even then I thought, at worst, he had just made a mistake being intimate with me. I still cared about him. My self-esteem had soared. Now I felt crushed, insignificant, confused.

There’s more he did that I know now was unethical. He exploited me financially, talked me out of a bunch of money. He said he would manage it for me so I wouldn’t spend it all.

Ridiculous, right? But because I trusted him and he listened to me...all these things made sense when they occurred. He ‘groomed’ me gradually.

It didn’t occur to me to leave and find another therapist ..at least not until a year later. He never tried to refer me to another therapist. But I would have fought to stay.

I felt like I needed him no matter how confusing our relationship was.No one else would understand me like he did.

I see some of me in your story.

I got out of the relationship, finally. Now looking back I understand he never helped me with the problems that brought me to therapy. He gave me more, new issues and pain and betrayal to deal with.

My therapist was unethical but I wanted to make allowances for him..until a year later when he was arrested for doing something similar to another young client. Eventually, there were seven clients who came forward.

Everything turned ugly very quickly.

When he was questioned by the medical board he claimed I was a ‘known prostitute.’ He said, yes he had received a significant sum of money from me. He claimed it was his fee for filling out two paragraphs on a disability form.

Your therapist is being unethical. I hope you weigh whether he is helping you with the issues you brought to therapy...or if he is just giving you new issues to deal with.

Best wishes.

Last edited by precaryous; 09-24-2018 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:00 AM   #28
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Girl From Europe-
.. I hope you weigh whether he is helping you with the issues you brought to therapy...or if he is just giving you new issues to deal with.
This is my thought as well.

As I've shared here previously, my therapist had also crossed boundaries with me and the relationship went outside of the office eventually, though it didn't become sexual.

Without going into details I can say that I also felt on top of the world because at that time I felt like that guy was helping me like no one else had ever helped me before. I never felt accepted for who I was, which made me feel like something was innately wrong with me. That therapist made me feel special and may be he was right to some extend. There are some things about me that are special and a few people in my life noticed that and told me about it. He was one of them and he did it best. His feedback was not just flattering, it was insightful. It made me more aware of my natural gifts and convinced me that I needed to put those abilities into a good use, I needed to do something with them. This was objectively helpful. What was not helpful though is that he put me on the pedestal and treated me like a God (he literally said once that he was seeing God in me) instead of helping me find practical ways of using my gifts for my and other people's benefit. But at the time his admiration felt like nirvana and it felt like that was exactly the kind of help I needed. In reality, as I realized in hindsight, he just inflated my ego and left me with no ideas, no practical skills and no ability to find practical applications for my natural gifts. His professional responsibility to me, as I see it, was to help me understand what prevented me from becoming what I always wanted to be - self-sufficient, creative and productive. He never did that. He pointed out my potential, but he never helped me understand how to use it and how to manifest it in the real world full of external obstacles.

So, yeah, back to your point, what feels helpful in the moment, may turn into a mess in the future. And, when intense emotions are involved, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment of whether something is helpful or if it just feels good.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:41 AM   #29
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Yeah, I totally know what you mean about lists. I guess maybe a better way to put it is, When you look back with your new perspective, when should you have left? When should it have become obvious that the therapist was abusing you or had intent to abuse you? Sometimes I look back on my abusive situations and I'm just like, damn, it should have been clear and would have been if you weren't the frog in the pot.
I think about this. When should I have known...as a 38 y/o with social awkwardness..coming to therapy already not reading other people’s cues very well.

With #2 AbsuviePdoc (he sexually exploited me), Maybe it should have been at the beginning of the full-body hugs. Maybe it should have been when he asked me to relate any sexual fantasies I had of him. But the hugs didn’t seem overtly sexual. And I thought relating fantasies were just part of therapy.

When many people go to the doctor they don’t go with the mindset,’ I’ll not take their advice.’ That’s why you consult a doctor or therapist, right? Because you’re in over your head, you’re confused. You go to them for help. You think they might know something you don’t know.

Ok, NOW I go to the doctor with the mindset, ‘question everything.’ ! But people don’t always do that.

The psychiatrist #1 (PrevPDoc) I saw before the sexually exploitative one #2 (AbusivePDoc) completely sexualized therapy, was completely into Freud. He loved the f* word. He’d explain it’s just a word. It’s a wonderful word that can mean so many different things. He was charismatic. He was a force all his own.

Once, in inpatient group therapy #1 had a group of us women in therapy. He started talking about fantasies, how fantasies were harmless, just thoughts. No action. He told us, ‘ I’ve already f* you and you and you in my fantasies, pointing to each of us. Totally sexualized all of us. But this was accepted? We all just smiled! He was a hit! We accepted this.

Now, looking back, I see he did many unethical things. But he never touched me. He never suggested FOR REAL that we should have a romantic or physical relationship. He was a colorful guy.

I had just moved to California at that time. I thought that’s just how therapy was done in California.

Years later, I found out that #1 PrevPdoc had some kind of front lobe dementia. He was arrested for writing opioid and benzo prescriptions and selling them. At least one person died from overdosing on his prescriptions. He is now a felon and in prison. Although I never saw that kind of behavior around me, I never heard of him selling scripts around me or my group of friends, his dementia was probably part of the explanation for his colorful therapy style and lack of boundaries when I knew him. How would a regular person be able to spot that? He was the director of the hospital. Why wouldnt his own colleagues call him out if they knew better?? How could I know he was sick if no ne else knew it or said anything?
My take-away was this behavior was accepted!

#1 PrevPDoc moved and I began seeing #2 AbusivePdoc.

But up until after the #2 abusive Pdoc, no one had ever discussed ‘boundaries’ with me. Therapists before had redirected me, Sure, they might say, ‘Let’s not discuss that here. Take that issue back to group and tell THEM.’ Therapists had boundaries on their contact limitations, etc. But no one had ever discussed MY boundaries with me in a meaningful way.

It’s a conversation I needed to have. I needed to learn where my boundaries were. I needed to know I should have my own boundaries and not just go along and accept everything that happened to me. No one told me about ‘ethics.’
I was gullible and naive. I wish someone had told me before I got into this entire mess.. but who?

It’s a conversation more therapists need to have with their clients.

I am better at boundaries now. But I beat myself up with when ‘I should have known.’

I think about it. But I just don’t know when ‘I should have known.’

Last edited by precaryous; 09-27-2018 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:50 PM   #30
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I don't think any sexualized comment is appropriate from a therapist, including comments on a client's physical appearance or how they please the T's senses. Even just checking out the client visibly. There is also no therapeutic reason for those things to be said. I've heard that some Ts think it can be appropriate to comment on the client's improvements in appearance to inspire, for example, a depressed person or someone with low self-esteem, but I think it can be expressed in different ways that don't have confusing meaning. If nothing else, sexualizing therapy interactions (even in subtle ways) can be distracting from what should really be the focus.
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